LIVINGSTON, NJ — As November ends and December begins, the Livingston Health Department has recorded a cumulative total of 881 cases of COVID-19 among Livingston residents, including 225 new cases that were reported from Nov. 2 through the end of the month compared to 93 cases in October and a cumulative total of 66 cases between June, July, August and September.o

With 239 total cases reported in Livingston from Oct. 30 to Nov. 30, the township saw its second-highest monthly caseload in November, coming just shy of the 282 total cases reported at the height of the pandemic in April.

There have also been 106 new cases reported over the last two weeks in Livingston, including 25 new cases since Thanksgiving Eve. More cases are expected to arise in the coming weeks as a result of a surge in post-holiday testing.

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In response to statewide case spikes, Gov. Phil Murphy has instituted a number of new restrictions that were announced on Monday—including tightening the outdoor gathering capacity to 25 people beginning on Dec. 7 and prohibiting all indoor youth and adult sports through Jan. 2 beginning on Dec. 5.

The new outdoor gathering limit will also not impact outdoor dining, religious or political activities, funerals, memorial services or wedding ceremonies. The governor reiterated that outdoor dining “continues to be governed by the health and safety regulations already in place,” adding that “separate groups who are dining outdoors do not constitute a single gathering.” 

“As you start to make your holiday plans, please recognize that the gathering limits are back to what they were in May and June, when we all came together and crushed the curve as much as any state in the United States," Murphy said during Monday's COVID-19 press briefing. "We continue to urge you to keep gatherings as small as possible, particularly with individuals outside of your household. As I've said, our steps continue to be dictated by careful analysis of science and data.” 

Murphy confirmed another 3,199 new cases on Monday for a total of 337,304 statewide.

There were 15 more deaths attributed to the coronavirus in New Jersey on Monday for total of 16,993, including 1,829 deaths that are considered “probable.” This figure does not include the 26 people who are suspected to have died due to respiratory virus, but for which additional testing is required.

Additionally, the state had 2,961 hospitalizations as of Monday, taking into account 263 residents who were discharged and 378 patients who were newly admitted that day. According to Monday's hospital census, there are currently 757 patients in intensive care and 332 on ventilators.

New Jersey's positivity rate is at 11.34 percent, and the rate of transmission (Rt) is 1.11 as of Monday as well. The governor noted that the positivity rate numbers refer to a "relatively small" number of tests done on Thanksgiving Day, and thus the figures should be taken "with a grain of salt."

On Wednesday, Murphy plans to release a deeper breakdown and discuss the state’s second wave modeling in order to give residents "a better idea of what it is we are potentially up against.”

Residents in the Garden State, which has more than 3,000 on-the-ground contact tracers, is still seeing nearly 70 percent of people either not responding or not being cooperative, according to state officials.

Col. Pat Callahan, the superintendent of the New Jersey State Police, also announced that there have been 10 executive order violations since Tuesday, including nine that took place at establishments in Newark and one in South Orange.

New Jersey Division of Alcoholic Beverage Control (ABC) investigators—who were sent out last Tuesday and Wednesday—cited businesses in Neptune City and Tuckerton as well. As part of their sweep, ABC workers conducted 67 inspections, ultimately citing 11 establishments for violations over failing to wear face masks inside and being over capacity.

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